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Aluminum Versus Steel

In the second installment of Ten Tips for Buying Outdoor Furniture, I am going to explain the advantages of aluminum-constructed furniture. Aluminum and steel are two popular materials used in creating the framework of outdoor furniture. When comparing the two mediums there are some issues to consider.

First and foremost, steel WILL rust regardless of the pretreatment and top coat finish that is applied. Moisture is steel’s nemesis and considering the furniture is used outdoors, eliminating the moisture component is virtually impossible even if the furniture is placed in a covered or screened area. Steel is primarily used in “wrought iron” styles of furniture. Steel can be bent to create beautiful forms and details. Some of the techniques used in creating wrought iron furniture are centuries old. Generally, steel furniture is heavy and is a logical choice for windy outdoor environments.  Wrought iron furniture is a popular choice and many consider this to be the first category of traditional outdoor furniture.

Aluminum furniture is created from either extrusions or solid cast aluminum. Many designs today, however, incorporate both extrusions and solid aluminum castings. An extrusion is best described as a hollow tube of aluminum usually formed with inner walls for added strength. The extrusions are made in a manner similar to how pasta is created.  Solid aluminum cores or “billets” are pushed through a die shaped in the cross section profile of the desired look.  The pieces are cut and bent into whatever shape the furniture requires.

Aluminum can also be melted, poured into carved molds, cooled and welded onto extrusions to provide details that simple extrusions cannot provide. These aluminum parts are called cast aluminum components. Some outdoor furniture designs do not include the aluminum extrusions at all and are created entirely from solid cast aluminum parts. But, combining aluminum extrusions and cast components offer both weight and cost advantages. A solid cast aluminum chair can be extremely heavy and since aluminum is basically sold by weight, the resulting furniture would also be very costly. A benefit of combining extrusions with castings is in the additional weight.  This weight, although modest, would prove beneficial in windy areas where slightly heavier outdoor furniture is required.

However, the biggest advantage when comparing aluminum to steel furniture- aluminum furniture will not rust. It is the perfect material to use outdoors and when coated with a baked on powder coated paint finish, outdoor aluminum furniture will last forever.

If you are in the market for outdoor furniture, consider one of the most recognized outdoor furniture brands for quality, style and comfort- Winston Furniture. In business since 1975, Winston Outdoor Furniture has built high quality outdoor furniture for the leisure activity enjoyment of families all over America and beyond. Visit our website to view the entire product offering and to locate an authorized Winston dealer in your area.

  1. teak furniture (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    thanks for the info..

  2. Christina (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Cast aluminum furniture is by far better than iron or Steele

  3. photostudio (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    I should say that it is my first time visiting your website. Now this is the kinda of stuff i like to read about. Very Nice website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some ideas and you gave me a few. Great read!

  4. steel tip darts (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Thanks for posting, I like this blog!

  5. Rosaura Weinbach (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Great website you have, I’ll definitely come back to check up on more of your posts.

  6. migraine ocular (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Hi! I found your blog on AOL.It’s really well written and it helped me a lot.

    Continue the good work!

  7. Matthew C. Kriner (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    A great post, thanks for taking the time to share, continued success to your site in the future!

  8. Patrice Lulow (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Precisely what I was looking for, thankyou for putting up.

  9. Lewis Johnson (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    I prefer the aluminum to wrought iron as well. Over time, it is a no-brainer to go with aluminum over steel/wrought iron.

  10. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  11. dasdasdasd (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Hi, this blog is very usefull and i like this blog so much.i’ll share this blog on my facebook page.

  12. patio deck (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Amazing article and I agree with the information that the biggest advantage when comparing aluminum to steel furniture- aluminum furniture will not rust. It is the perfect material to use outdoors and when coated with a baked on powder coated paint finish, outdoor aluminum furniture will last forever. Thanks!

  13. Lynna Cerasuolo (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

    • Winston Furniture (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

      Yes, send us the info to your link…title and description. After we receive it, we will post. Thank you!

  14. Outdoor Bar Set (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    Great info, thanks for the post.

  15. steve tomlinson (Reply) on Monday 7, 2010

    We have found that cast aluminum is best in South Florida.

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